U.S. President Joe Biden recently signed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which allocates $25.480 billion in total base discretionary funding for U.S. agencies that are responsible for agriculture and food safety. Following the Reagan-Udall Foundation’s independent review of and recommendations for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the bill significantly increases funding for the agency in comparison to FY 2022.

For FY 2023, the $25.480 billion budget given to agriculture, rural development, food and drug administration, and related agencies is a 1.4 percent ($355 million) increase above the FY 2022 enacted level, and is $2.1 billion below the FY 2023 President’s budget request. The funds will support agencies ensure a safe and abundant food supply, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and FDA.


In July 2022, FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D., M.A.C.C. commissioned the Reagan-Udall Foundation to convene an independent expert panel to assess the agency’s Human Foods Program, which includes the Office of Food Policy and Response (OFPR), the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), and relevant parts of the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA). The aim of the evaluation was to strengthen FDA’s food regulatory role, and it was commissioned following pressing food safety and security challenges that arose during 2022, such as the infant formula safety and supply crises. The review revealed many significant issues within FDA’s culture, structure, resources, and authorities—affecting the agency’s ability to execute its role in protecting public health by promoting a safe food supply.

The FY 2023 bill provides $3.53 billion in discretionary funding for FDA, which is $226 million more than the FY 2022 enacted level. Overall, total FDA funding, including user fee revenues, is $6.56 billion. The increases for FDA include $41 million for food safety activities, $121 million for cross-cutting initiatives supporting both medical and food safety, and $21 million for infrastructure investments. Included in the cross-cutting initiatives are increases to support FDA’s core functions, including additional funding for inspections, information technology, laboratory safety, and other essential services. The bill also provides $50 million as authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act.


USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) were also prioritized in the FY 2023 bill.

The bill provides more than $3.7 billion for agricultural research programs, specifically, $1.74 billion for ARS and $1.7 billion for NIFA, including a $10 million increase for NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The funding will support investments in the research and development of new technologies and varieties to improve the productivity, sustainability, and quality of U.S. agriculture. The bill also fully funds the continued establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility.

The bill also provides $1.17 billion for APHIS, an increase of more than $60 million above the FY 2022 enacted level. The funding will help protect the nation’s animal and plant resources from harmful diseases and pests, and support the growing needs of animal health surveillance and veterinary biological products.

Finally, the bill provides $1.15 billion for FSIS, which fully funds the food safety and inspection programs that ensure safe and healthy food for American families. The bill promotes the safety and productivity of the nation’s $186 billion meat and poultry industry by supporting more than 8,000 frontline inspection personnel for meat, poultry, and egg products at more than 6,400 facilities in the U.S. The bill includes increased funding to reduce user fees for small- and very-small processing facilities, as well as for public health veterinarian retention efforts. The bill also includes language modifying overtime requirements for inspectors.